Don't be surprised to hear customers speaking German as you walk into Juergen's Bakery and Restaurant. Housed on the first floor of a nondescript redbrick building in the heart of Columbus' German Village, Juergen's is the go-to spot for expats craving a taste of authentic and inexpensive (most dishes are under $10) versions of their favorite homeland dishes.
The bratwurst on an eggy pretzel bun ($6.95 with one side) is a tasty choice, as is the tomatoey beef-based goulash "suppe" with a distinct vinegary tang ($5.95), but the lukewarm, gummy spaetzle is disappointing. Service can be slow and brusque, and the decor feels more cluttered than charming. Tchotchkes and knickknacks adorn every spare inch of space—beer steins on shelves, worn posters and drawings thumb-tacked into the walls, German flags, faded lace curtains, and a ribbon-and-plastic-flower-bedecked Maypole. The unusual ambience also includes a pianist meandering through a repertoire by Romance composers, and German-speaking college students engaged in spirited debate. A bakery case at the front holds a sparse array of pastries and breads, and a shop section offers beer, wine, sausages, vinegars and other German products for sale.
The food at Juergen’s is OK, but Schmidt’s Sausage Haus provides a much more appealing, if touristy, German dining experience.